Wednesday, 4 November 2009

48 Hours In The Life Of My TV

Usually, writing down everything I watched on TV in 48 hours would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately moving home has meant I don't get free reign on the TV anymore, and as a result my viewing quota is a little bit lower than usual... As a result, this isn't so much everything I watched in 48 hours, more "What I Watched Over A Few Days Condensed Into 2

First up was last week's episode of Flashforward (Five), which I watched on Sunday (1/11/09)- I missed it when it was originally aired last Monday, all I can say is thank God for endless catch-ups!

It's not often I get engrossed in TV dramas beyond the first few episodes... I gave up on Heroes halfway into Season 1 (what seemed like the climax was actually the series' midpoint, after that it was just boring). I didn't get into Lost at all, and BBC3's Harper's Island seemed promising, but was let down by a cast I'd happily have all seen killed off.

Flashforward though, is the exception. It's had me gripped from the beginning as it has a genuinely interesting premise. I really want to see how the series plays out, considering we've already seen the future through everyone's 'flashforward' in episode 1.

It's a twisty-turny type of programme, so I tend to watch it on my own- otherwise I end up distracted and missing parts which, knowing me, are always crucial to what's going to happen next. Such is my dedication to this show, however, I've even set up a series link on Sky+ to make sure I don't miss a thing. Commitment!!

By this point it was getting late and I was in the mood for some easy viewing- roll up, American Dad! (BBC3). I've grown a li'l bit tired of endless repeats of Family Guy, so I was most excited when the Beeb started showing new episodes of creator Seth McFarlane's more recent cartoon.

It's edgier and alot more satirical than Family Guy, and the humour is alot less scattered- whereas with FG you tend to remember clips and specific jokes rather than full episodes, with American Dad! the storyline seems alot more coherent. Also, there are fewer American pop-culture in jokes than its predecessor. Kind of odd considering the title, but the humour seems to be alot more political. This definitely gives has a broader international appeal than US sports and TV references which, try as I may, do not understand. They poke fun at hot-button subjects, like American attitudes to terrorism, and the rivalry between Liberals and Democrats. It's silly in a grown up kind of way- a grown up kind of way that makes me feel slightly better about spending the evening watching cartoons...

On Monday 2nd, I only really sat down to watch Flashforward episode 6 (Five). After the nail-biting climatic shoot-out of last week, I didn't think the show could make me into any more of a fangirl than I already am. I was wrong. Just over 1/4 of the way through the series and already the lives of some characters are echoing those of their visions. For some, the frightening and somewhat unwelcome prophecies are becoming more and more intrinsic in their lives. For others, their visions couldn't be further removed from current reality. Tightly plotted, fast paced and with great performances all round -this is a taut, tense thriller and one I reckon everyone should check out. (Start from episode 1 if you can though- my mum tried to watch this episode to see what the fuss was about and gave up after 10 minutes of me attempting to catch her up. Ah, well).

OK, confession time- I only saw the original Halloween for the first time a few days ago. I loved it (OBV), and so The Boy recorded the Rob Zombie remake for me the next day (Sky+ from Sky Sci-Fi/Horror). I'll save my full analysis for a proper 'film blog', but I will say that this 're-imagining' left me with mixed emotions. Initially we were glued to the screen- for the first 20/30 minutes we get alot more of Michael Myers' back story, and he kills more people in the opening scenes than he does in the entirety of the John Carpenter original. It's a gleefully gory slash 'n' stalk, and Mr. Zombie stamps his trademark style all over the first half-hour. However, once the "re-imagining" part is over, we're introduced to Laurie and the film becomes a retread of the original- which is when we stopped paying quite so much attention and played an almighty tournament of Switch. (10-8 to me- he won't be so cocky next time!).

Another big American import which I've fallen for is Lie To Me (Sky 1). I missed most of the first season since I didn't have Sky, but again thanks to the magic of Sky+ I've managed to see all of season 2. Tim Roth plays Cal Lightman, who's basically a human lie detector. He and his colleagues at the Lightman Group assist in enquiries with third parties- kind of like private investigators. It's an interesting concept, similar to fellow ex-pat Hugh Laurie's turn in House.

This week's episode saw Lightman held hostage by a man accused of murdering his wife. Desperate to clear his name, he forces Cal to investigate the case without involving the police. There was genuine threat as the group, in a race against time, detected the man's shift from anxiety to extreme anger and irrationality... would he make good on his threat? You'll have to tune in and see....

Finally, it was time for some light night-time viewing before dropping off. Unfortunately it was rather late and the only thing I hadn't seen that looked remotely interesting was Hostel Part II.

I haven't yet watched the first Hostel movie, but I was assured it didn't require much explanation to understand the sequel. It didn't. I watched a whole 43 minutes and changed the channel. I'm not really a huge fan of this new genre of 'torture-porn'- it just seems like gore for gore's sake. Not even 'Quentin Tarantion presents...' could entice me to watch any further. The characters are obnoxious American tourists (yaaawwwwn...) who were so irritatingly stupid that I found it impossible to root for them and actually found myself rolling my eyes and tutting at the TV. Like a cranky old man. Goodnight!

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